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General News of Tuesday, 7 February 2023


Naira Scarcity: Obi not in tune with suffering masses like Tinubu - Onoh

Peter Obi Peter Obi

The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential spokesman, Dr Josef Onoh has stated that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi is not feeling the pain of citizens by siding with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the country’s present travail of Naira scarcity.

According to Onoh, it was insensitive and a sign of policy failure for the CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele to have asked depositors who came to take their money from the banks to stay in queues and canopies.

Onoh also took offence at Obi’s choice of mild words against the CBN, adding that Obi treated the crisis with leniency because he (Obi) plays elitism against the poor masses unlike Bola Tinubu, whom he said is on the ground with Nigerian masses.

He noted that it’s only Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who has stood up against the current naira crisis in the country.

His words: “This is robbing the poor because the CBN policy applies to such categories of people. The hardship is real, Nigerians are crying and it’s sad that Peter Obi’s statement is basically in support of the hardship Nigerians are facing. His statement on the issue to Nigerians is similar to that of Marie Antoinette of France, who, in 1789, during one of the famines in France during the reign of her husband, King Louis XVI, when told that the peasants had no bread, replied: “Then let them eat cake.” and that is why I said that Asiwaju is the only person who has been sincere because this implementation has nothing to do with politics. Still, a vindictive personal attack by someone who could not attain his desire."

Onoh continued, "For instance, the U.S Federal Reserve, together with their partners at their Treasury Department, its Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the United States Secret Service, continuously monitor the counterfeiting threats for each denomination of US currency and make redesign decisions based on these threats. An inter-agency committee makes recommendations on design changes to the Secretary of the Treasury, who has final authority for the U.S. currency designs.

“But the same can’t be said of the Emefiele naira redesign which according to him as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, one of the factors that influenced his redesign of the naira notes is the significant hoarding of banknotes by members of the public. Emefiele said that statistics showed that over 80 per cent of the currency in circulation was outside the vaults of commercial banks.

“As at the end of September 2022, available data at the CBN allegedly indicated that N2.73 trillion out of the N3.23 trillion currency in circulation, was outside the vaults of commercial banks across the country; and supposedly held by the public, and today the public are suffering."